FEMA Planning Checklist

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Laboratory Emergency Preparedness. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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FEMA Planning Checklist

FEMA provides a test plan checklist with corresponding questions on its training website. While this checklist was designed for a comprehensive disaster exercise (to be discussed), reviewing the items on the checklist will ensure that the major planning elements have been considered for any exercise type.
FEMA Test Plan Checklist and Questions
Test Plan Checklist
  1. Prepare a disaster scenario (e.g., power or communication disrupted, or facility damaged or not accessible for a specified length of time).
  2. State the objectives of the test.
  3. Identify the scope of the test (what critical function(s) and to what extent).
  4. Identify criteria to be used to measure results.
  5. Prepare a specific plan for each function to be tested (i.e., applications, processes, transactions, etc., and estimated time).
  6. Determine alternate site facility availability.
  7. Determine personnel availability or conflicts (functions involved, technical support, facilities, remote data center if applicable, security, audit/management).
  8. Establish date, time, and location for the test.
  9. Identify transportation and direction requirements.
  10. Identify all participants and their responsibilities.
  11. Assemble a planning meeting for all involved personnel.
  12. Identify notification procedures and security/access plan.
  13. Prepare a schedule of test activities.
  14. Identify equipment, data, vital records, procedures, forms, supplies, and other resources needed.
  15. Identify test site preparation and functionality requirements.
  16. Observe and monitor the test (attendance, scope and objectives, times, etc.).
  17. Perform post-test restoration of the backup site and resources.
  18. Evaluate test results and prepare a report (successes, problems, lessons learned, recommendations).
Questions to Ask After the Test
  1. Were all scheduled activities performed, and were all objectives met?
  2. Were all personnel present and on time? Were they qualified to accomplish the assigned tasks? Was the process well organized? Was there adequate technical support?
  3. Was all necessary equipment, hardware, and software sufficient and functional?
  4. Were communications capabilities (data and voice) adequate?
  5. Were all vital records and data available from backup sources and up-to-date?
  6. Were adequate procedures available? Did personnel know them? Were they effective?
  7. Was the alternate site satisfactory? Was there adequate security?
From Institute of Emergency Administration and Fire Science, St. Petersburg Junior College, Contingency Planning for Business and Industry (1998). Online course developed/instructed by Denis Kleinrichert, St. Petersburg, Florida: Institute of Emergency Administration and Fire Science.